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Hülsmeyer, Velia-Isabel (2010): Untersuchung zum Vorkommen idiopathischer Epilepsie beim Border Collie. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
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Abstract

Idiopathic epilepsy (IE) is a common breed-related neurological disorder in contemporary small animal medicine. The number of Border Collies (BCs) with epileptic seizures is increasing while there is a lack of data of IE in this breed. Hypothesis of this study was that IE occurs in BCs and manifests often with severe clinical signs and poor response to medical treatment. IE was diagnosed by recurrent seizures, normal physical, neurological and laboratory examination. MRI and CSF analysis were requested if age at seizure onset was < 6 months or > 5 years of age. Dogs that failed to meet all inclusion criteria were only considered if a first- or second-degree relative was afflicted by IE or if seizures had occurred for at least 2 years without interictal neurological abnormalities. Owners fulfilled a detailed questionnaire. Subsequent phenotypic case classification was performed by evaluation of seizure history and treatment data. Pedigrees were sampled and matched for the appearance of common ancestors. Ninety BCs with a reported seizure history were collected retrospectively and prospectively. Forty-nine of them were diagnosed with IE and were included in the present study. Clinical manifestations were dominated by moderate (33 %) and severe clinical courses (49 %) defined by the occurrence of cluster seizures or status epilepticus, respectively. Pharmacoresistance was apparent in 71 % of 24 dogs treated with ≥ 2 antiepileptic drugs. So far, no predictors for the occurrence of pharmacoresistance were identified in the present study. The epilepsy remission rate was 18 %. Dogs in remission showed a significantly higher median age at onset and a significantly lower initial seizure frequency compared to dogs with active epilepsy (p < 0.05). Survival time was significantly reduced in dogs aged < 2 years at seizure onset and in dogs with severe clinical courses (p < 0.05). Family- and pedigree analyses indicated a strong genetic founder effect in the appearance of epilepsy, resembling autosomal recessive inheritance. Yet, complex inheritance could not be excluded. In conclusion, IE occurs in BCs and is frequently associated with severe clinical signs and pharmacoresistance. While further genetic research is required, the results of this study suggest a substantial hereditary (disease) component.